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Capacity of Community Development Organizations to Respond to COVID-19

Collaboration with professors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


The recovery of COVID-19 will truly require the collaboration of all public, private, and non-profit sectors. A key player in this process is community development organizations (CDOs), which include community development financial institutions (CDFIs). The demand for CDO services has never been greater. CDOs have helped those they serve survive and thrive through the pandemic through their strategic use of social capital. We explore how these organizations have leveraged their networks to increase organizational, political, programmatic, and adaptive capacity.


There is little research on best practices for recovery from economic shocks such as COVID-19. We believe the data highlight how CDFIs and other CDOs have played and will continue to play a critical role. Their strategic use of social capital to complement a wide variety of capacity constraints provides a compelling model for best practices across North Carolina and the nation.


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Williams, Teshanee, Brown-Graham, Anita, McCall, Jamie, and Maureen Berner. 2021. "Capacity of Community Development Organizations to Respond to COVID-19: The Strategic Use of Social Capital." UNC School of Government ncIMPACT Initiative Newsletter, no. 2021/01. Chapel Hill, NC.’-capacity-respond-covid-19-theoretical-approach-strategic-use

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